The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) has capped the first year of its unprecedented North American marketing campaign, celebrating responsibly raised seafood alongside over 50 industry partners through an array of in-person events and online activations reaching millions of consumers.
As revealed last March at Boston’s Seafood Expo North America (SENA), ASC launched an ongoing North American marketing campaign – the largest promotions investment in ASC’s history – aimed at engaging consumers on the benefits of certified seafood while showcasing the difference and value behind ASC certification.
“Aquaculture is growing in awareness and demand in North America, and certified seafood is serving that demand in environmentally and socially responsible ways. But not all farmed seafood certifications are equal,” said Dr. Mark Lang, Senior Marketer, ASC USA. “To stand out and differentiate, we devoted our first year to going deep in key local markets while also collaborating with dozens of certified seafood producers, brands, distributors and advocates to share this important message to shoppers. The 2022 results exceeded our expectations and set us up to expand the campaign in 2023 and beyond.”
ASC’s 2022 North American campaign launch featured:
Local Market Tour
From spring through fall, ASC was immersed in the Miami, Minneapolis and Philadelphia food scenes, hosting an array of activities spanning food festivals, restaurants and grocers. By serving ASC-certified seafood together, the organization and partners were able to build awareness of ASC’s sea green label with local and national audiences via:
- Partnering with Pescanova on a Miami-themed activity station for 3,000 visitors at the nation’s premier crustacean celebration, South Beach Seafood Festival.
- Hosting 30 of Philadelphia’s top food writers and influencers for an intimate dinner of Skuna Bay Salmon prepared by James Beard nominated writer and chef Kiki Aranita.
- Collaborating with Fortune Fish & Gourmet and Coastal Seafoods retail locations at May’s Twin Cities GrillFest, then returning in the fall to highlight ASC-certified Aqquua grouper, Del Pacifico shrimp and Verlasso salmon.
- Hosting the “Certified Seafood Experience” with Miami’s beloved sustainability-driven sushi chain Sushi Maki, promoting responsible aquaculture and ASC-certified seafood at their Whole Foods’ sushi stations and high-visibility restaurants across Miami.
Social and Digital Promotions
Throughout the year, ASC reached online consumers more than 5 million times with new social media accounts and a North American consumer-facing website. Digital programs included:
- Collaborating with ASC-certified brands such as PrimeWaters Seafood for healthy cooking demos and Freshé gourmet tinned seafood meals on product giveaways.
- Reaching 500,000 by collaborating with Instagram culinary influencers to develop their own ASC-certified recipes and photography using Mowi’s ASC-certified salmon.
- A robust thought leadership blog and podcast featuring interviews with producers and distributors.
- Digital and search ads educating targeted consumers about ASC’s sea green label.
ASC’s local, regional and national outreach earned 2,500+ story placements reaching consumers millions of times with activities including:
- What’s hot for food trends in 2023? ASC, of course. Yahoo News spotlighted ASC-certified seafood as it forecasted what chefs will be serving at restaurants and home cooks will be buying at grocers in the year ahead with its article “These Are the Food Trends You’ll See Everywhere in 2023.”
- A live virtual media tour spanning the western hemisphere in collaboration with the Seafood Nutrition and Sustainable Shrimp Partnerships. The September event for national food editors and reporters featured ASC-certified shrimp producers live from Ecuador all the way to Chef Barton Seaver’s Maine kitchen for a certified shrimp cook-a-long.
- Partnering with Riverence Provisions for a holiday mailer of ASC-certified steelhead trout reaching the minds and mouths of key national food media.
Expanding in 2023
ASC plans to continue its campaign with new and bigger activations in Portland, Ore., Southern California, Washington, D.C. and nationally. The North American marketing team will unveil its 2023 theme and an array of new partnerships at SENA 2023 this March.
About the Aquaculture Stewardship Council
Since 2010, ASC has been creating and enforcing the world’s strictest standards in the industry for:
- Ensuring supply chain integrity from the farm to the store.
- Providing the most comprehensive transparency through public disclosure.
- Protecting the environment, workers and communities.
ASC’s sea green label only appears on seafood from farms that have been independently assessed and certified as environmentally and socially responsible. ASC’s sea green certification label is the best way to ensure the seafood you’re buying is what it claims to be. For more information, visit us.asc-aqua.org/.